Savitha Rajarajan

  • Senior Research Fellow

  • Broad interest lies in understanding the role and signaling of steroid hormone receptors, their interactions and crosstalk in breast cancer. Pursuing doctoral research on "Dissecting the role of androgen receptor mediated signaling in breast cancer". This work investigates the pathways involved in the differential role played by AR in tumor progression and the impact of circulating androgens on these molecular mechanisms. The study examines the expression of AR, its downstream targets and regulation in the context of ER expression, menopausal status and varying levels of androgens. This study may help in better selection of patients who will benefit most from AR modulating therapies and improve breast cancer outcome.


  • March 2020-Present ; Ph.D - Molecular Oncology
    Manipal Academy of Higher Education
  • 2002-2004 ; M.Sc - Biotechnology
    Bangalore University
  • 1999-2002 ; B.Sc - Microbiology,Chemistry, Zoology
    Bangalore University

  • Senior Research Fellow
    St John’s Research Institute
    April 2018 – Till Date
  • Junior Research Fellow
    St John’s Research Institute
    April 2015 – March 2018
  • Research Assistant
    St John’s Research Institute
    2012 – 2015
  • Junior Research Fellow
    Avesthagen Gengraine Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru
    2004 – 2006

Rajarajan S, Korlimarla A, Alexander A, Anupama CE, Ramesh R, Srinath BS, Sridhar TS, Prabhu JS. Pre-Menopausal Women With Breast Cancers Having High AR/ER Ratios in the Context of Higher Circulating Testosterone Tend to Have Poorer Outcomes. Frontiers in endocrinology. 2021:716.(IF: 5.55)

Rajarajan S, Jose B, Correa M, Sengupta S, Prabhu JS. Identification of colorectal cancers with defective DNA damage repair by immunohistochemical profiling of mismatch repair proteins, CDX2 and BRCA1. Molecular and clinical oncology. 2020 Nov 1;13(5) (IS: 1.63)

Nair MG, Prabhu JS, Korlimarla A, Rajarajan S, PS H, Kaul R, Alexander A, Raghavan R, BS S, TS S. miR?18a activates Wnt pathway in ER positive breast cancer and is associated with poor prognosis. Cancer medicine. 2020 Aug;9(15):5587-97.(IF:4.45)

Crasta J, Ravikumar G, Rajarajan S, Gali S, Kulkarni KA, Vallikad E, Prabhu J. Expression of HER2 and EGFR Proteins in Advanced Stage High-grade Serous Ovarian Tumors Show Mutual Exclusivity. International Journal of Gynecological Pathology. 2021 Jan 1;40(1):49-55.( IF:2.762)

Prabhu JS, Korlimarla A, Anupama CE, Alexander A, Raghavan R, Kaul R, Desai K, Rajarajan S, Manjunath S, Correa M, Raman R. Dissecting the biological heterogeneity within hormone receptor positive her2 negative breast cancer by gene expression markers identifies indolent tumors within late stage disease. Translational oncology. 2017 Aug 1;10(4):699-706.(IF: 4.243)

Desai K, Nair MG, Prabhu JS, Vinod A, Korlimarla A, Rajarajan S, Aiyappa R, Kaluve RS, Alexander A, Hari PS, Mukherjee G. High expression of integrin ?6 in association with the Rho–Rac pathway identifies a poor prognostic subgroup within HER 2 amplified breast cancers. Cancer medicine. 2016 Aug;5(8):2000-11.(IF:4.45)

Korlimarla A, Prabhu JS, Remacle J, Rajarajan S, Raja U, CE A, Srinath BS, Manjunath S, KS G, Correa M, MSN P. Identification of BRCA1 deficiency using multi-analyte estimation of BRCA1 and its repressors in FFPE tumor samples from patients with triple negative breast cancer. PloS one. 2016 Apr 14;11(4):e0153113.(IF:3.240)


DBT-Wellcome Trust-India Alliance Fellowship Grant (Intermediate): 2019-2024- Breast Cancer in premenopausal women-Evaluating the role circulating steroid hormones in resistance to therapy. Role- Senior Research Fellow

DBT-UOE titled “Investigating the role of BLM Helicase as a global tumor suppressor: Understanding its regulatory loops and using the knowledge for therapeutic and clinical applications in cancer biology”. Co- Ordinator: Sagar Sengupta, NII, New Delhi, 2015-2019. Role: Research Fellow.

Groups and Associations

Steroid hormones receptor signalling in breast cancer, Immuno-oncology